The Smithsonian has announced that the team of the Freelon Group, Adjaye Associates, Davis Brody Bond, and SmithGroup has been selected to design the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which will sit on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between the National Museum of Natural History and the Washington Monument. The Freelon Group will be the architect of record, and Philip Freelon will serve as the design guarantor; David Adjaye will be the lead designer. Construction for the museum is expected to commence in 2012, with the building set to open in 2015 at a total cost of $500 million.

Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup was among the 22 teams that responded to a summer 2008 request for qualifications. In January 2009 a short list was announced. The other five teams vying to design the museum were Devroaux & Purnell Architects with Pei Cobb Fried; Diller Scofidio + Renfro with KlingStubbins; Foster + Partners with the URS Corp.; Moody Nolan with Antoine Predock; and Moshe Safdie and Associates with Sultan Campbell Britt & Associates.

The Freelon Group has designed San Francisco's Museum of the African Diaspora and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture, in Baltimore. Adjaye has designed the Nobel Peace Centre, in Oslo, Norway, as well as Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art. Davis Brody Bond is working on the planning, design, and execution of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, in Manhattan. SmithGroup's work includes the Normandy American Cemetery Interpretive Center, in France.

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Design Jury: Lonnie Bunch (chair), National Museum of African American History and Culture; Mike Bellamy, director, Smithsonian's Office of Engineering, Design, and Construction; architecture critic Robert Campbell; Maurice Cox, director of design, National Endowment for the Arts; James Johnson, museum council member and former chairman and CEO of Fannie Mae; Robert Kogod, member, Smithsonian board of regents; Sheryl Kolasinski, director, Smithsonian's Office of Planning and Project Management; Franklin Raines, museum council member and former chairman and CEO, Fannie Mae; Linda Johnson Rice, museum council co-chair; Adele Naude Santos, dean of the MIT School of Architecture.